I started my career working exclusively with children.
Foster children, homeless children, teenagers of all shapes and sizes, young children, old children, rich children and poor children.
I doggedly engaged in learning all kinds of fancy therapies to help these children:
- art therapy,
- play therapy,
- sand tray therapy,
- reality therapy,
- wilderness therapy,
- dance therapy,…and the list goes on
…in order to engage, heal and guide these young people.
And then one day it occurred to me.
"Everyday, I am sending these children back home to their families."
Back into their same systems, their same dynamics that in some cases created the issues to begin with.
[Side note: Adults usually are much more willing to put their children in therapy than to go themselves.]
So, I stopped working with kids.
I just stopped.
And, I started working with adults — with couples — with adults who (many of them happen to…) love, care, and are raising children.
But here is my sinister plan…shhhhh…don’t tell anyone…if I am successful at helping an adult learn to:
- get to know themselves
- ask for what they want
- engage in rich and rewarding relationships
- set healthy boundaries with their loved ones
- be accountable for their screw-ups and make amends with others
- understand themselves as sexual beings and learn to express that in creative, fun, and pleasurable ways
- develop insight into who they are as a person/soul/being/citizen on this planet and take feedback from others
- effectively communicate (i.e. initiate hard conversations, maintain curiosity even when they are feeling triggers, take time outs, ask thoughtful questions, etc)
…well, if I do THAT then those adults and couples will go home…they will show up differently for their families…for their children…and their children will change.
I often say that I am always working myself out of a job.
And it’s true.
If I do my job well, people usually go away…and then they come back for a tune up or a check in…then they go away again. My role is to be in their ‘back pocket’ for when/if things go sour, and we can just get things back on track again.
The point here is that it is my job to help grown-ups be the most authentic, creative and congruent expression of who they are — while learning how to be curious, engaged, and willing to have rich and rewarding conflict with their loved ones.
We need conflict. It is good! It means that you (and your partner) are not being a doormat!
We don’t need more doormats in this world.
But we don’t need more mean, cruel, and spiteful people either. We don’t need more people who say, “I love you” and then do and say incredibly unloving things to one another. (This btw is crazy confusing for adults…and equally for kids…so if you are doing this, stop.)
Often, the hardest people to really love are the ones closest to us (and if you want to get really deep, the one closest to you is you…and you can be the toughest person for you to love…which is why so many of you are quietly self-critical and internally harsh…but I digress).
My mission is to help kids. I love kids. I used to be a kid. I have a kid (he’s 15 years old) and he brings me to my knees some days in challenging our family system. But our system’s functionality is measured more by how we deal with the ‘bad’ days than how we show up shiny-faced for FB posts on the ‘good’ days.
So the question is -- how do you show up on your bad days? And, if you are ready to learn for yourself (and for your children!) how to do this better, call us now. All of our therapists are deeply passionate about this work -- and we are doing it for the next generation.
Call 720.457.3342 and talk to me! Or click on one of the red "BOOK NOW" buttons at the top and self-book.